Red Hat Inc. built its brand by trudging knee-deep through opensource communities so its enterprise customers didn’t have to. Now, as part of IBM, will Red Hat’s R&D and product strategies change?
Far from secluding itself in an IBM-only space, Red Hat is still deeply and broadly involved in open source. It’s also enlisting its large ecosystem to help build what it sees as an all-important pillar of next-generation computing: The IBM-Red Hat hybrid-cloud platform. And to IBM, enriched by Red Hat’s collaborative, open-source ethos, a platform isn’t just an empty landing space; it’s a dynamic environment in which cloud computing achieves its ultimate milestone: Faster innovation.
Innovation is happening in so many places today: It’s a byproduct from Web 2.0 companies; it’s open source; it’s VC-backed startups; it’s traditional technology companies. Where is it all going to go? If it’s going to be easily usable, it had better be an integrated platform, according to Jim Whitehurst (pictured), longtime chief executive officer of Red Hat and now president of IBM.
“It’s not just about — hey, a platform that runs across all the different deployment models is convenient,” Whitehurst said. Nor is a platform just about a bunch of vertical stovepipes or even one big horizontal stovepipe. It’s an ingestion model with everything users need at the ready, reducing friction to innovation. And significant ecosystem participation is key to its success, Whitehurst added.
Whitehurst spoke with Dave Vellante, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during IBM Think. They discussed IBM and Red Hat’s R&D roadmap and how a bustling ecosystem will create the platform needed for next-generation hybrid cloud computing. (* Disclosure below.)
IBM plunks down cash on AI, quantum, new hardware
IBM is investing $1 billion in its ecosystem to build an open hybrid cloud platform based on Red Hat OpenShift.
“The platform is a recognition that we’re not going to do everything for everybody anymore,” Whitehurst said. It will be one of a slew of participants in the platform, driving innovation in key areas where it’s capable for the improvement of the whole. Areas of IBM R&D include hardware and also software around artificial intelligence and automation.
IBM’s current AI interests include in the auditing of AI models for bias. Other areas of development include the use of AI to understand source code for migrating apps to cloud and quantum-safe encryption.
Whitehurst sees a wave of hardware innovation rising.
“There’s no longer this inevitability of everything’s just going to go to x86. I think we are going to see more variety because we’re going to have need on the factory floor, or in the automobile, or with massive containerized applications,” he said.
IBM’s contributions will go beyond innovating hardware to abstracting away its complexity. “We kind of play on both sides of it — developing great technologies but then making it really easy for developers to consume and use those specialized features,” Whitehurst stated.
IBM Imation researches ways to use quantum computing to solve major problems across finance, materials, logistics and chemistry. The deep R&D of that program highlights the place IBM has in the new democratized world of open source, startups and high tech turnover.
“We’ll continue to drive core technologies forward, like quantum and key areas that require billions of dollars in research that, frankly, no one else is willing to do. And then we bring it all together with this hybrid cloud platform,” Whitehurst concluded.
Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of IBM Think. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for IBM Think. Neither IBM, the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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